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Geography of Belize

Location: Belize is in Central America or Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, Guatemala, and Mexico. Geographic coordinates: 17 15 N, 88 45 W

Area:
total: 22,960 sq km
land: 22,800 sq km
water: 160 sq km

Land boundaries:
total: 516 km
border countries: Guatemala 266 km, Mexico 250 km

Coastline: 386 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm in the north, 3 nm in the south; note - from the mouth of the Sarstoon River to Ranguana Cay, Belize's territorial sea is 3 nm; according to Belize's Maritime Areas Act, 1992, the purpose of this limitation is to provide a framework for the negotiation of a definitive agreement on territorial differences with Guatemala

Cities and Towns

Climate: tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to February)

Terrain: flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Victoria Peak 1,160 m

Natural resources: arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower

Land use:
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 2%
forests and woodland: 92%
other: 3% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: frequent, devastating hurricanes (September to December) and coastal flooding (especially in south)

Environment - current issues: deforestation; water pollution from sewage, industrial effluents, agricultural runoff; solid waste disposal

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Marine Dumping, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: only country in Central America without a coastline on the North Pacific Ocean.

Reference Some of the material in this article comes from the CIA World Factbook 2000.

External Link Maps at Belize.Net (http://www.belize.net/html/maps.shtml)



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